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Kano M.,University of London | Kano M.,Tohoku University | Coen S.J.,University of London | Coen S.J.,Kings College London | And 8 more authors.
Brain Structure and Function | Year: 2013

Effects of physiological and/or psychological inter-individual differences on the resting brain state have not been fully established. The present study investigated the effects of individual differences in basal autonomic tone and positive and negative personality dimensions on resting brain activity. Whole-brain resting cerebral perfusion images were acquired from 32 healthy subjects (16 males) using arterial spin labeling perfusion MRI. Neuroticism and extraversion were assessed with the Eysenck Personality Questionnaire-Revised. Resting autonomic activity was assessed using a validated measure of baseline cardiac vagal tone (CVT) in each individual. Potential associations between the perfusion data and individual CVT (27 subjects) and personality score (28 subjects) were tested at the level of voxel clusters by fitting a multiple regression model at each intracerebral voxel. Greater baseline perfusion in the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and cerebellum was associated with lower CVT. At a corrected significance threshold of p < 0.01, strong positive correlations were observed between extraversion and resting brain perfusion in the right caudate, brain stem, and cingulate gyrus. Significant negative correlations between neuroticism and regional cerebral perfusion were identified in the left amygdala, bilateral insula, ACC, and orbitofrontal cortex. These results suggest that individual autonomic tone and psychological variability influence resting brain activity in brain regions, previously shown to be associated with autonomic arousal (dorsal ACC) and personality traits (amygdala, caudate, etc.) during active task processing. The resting brain state may therefore need to be taken into account when interpreting the neurobiology of individual differences in structural and functional brain activity. © 2013 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg. Source

Zapico A.G.,Technical University of Madrid | Zapico A.G.,Complutense University of Madrid | Zapico A.G.,Laboratorio Of Fisiologia Of Esfuerzo | Benito P.J.,Technical University of Madrid | And 17 more authors.
BMC Public Health | Year: 2012

Background: At present, scientific consensus exists on the multifactorial etiopatogenia of obesity. Both professionals and researchers agree that treatment must also have a multifactorial approach, including diet, physical activity, pharmacology and/or surgical treatment. These two last ones should be reserved for those cases of morbid obesities or in case of failure of the previous ones. The aim of the PRONAF study is to determine what type of exercise combined with caloric restriction is the most appropriate to be included in overweigth and obesity intervention programs, and the aim of this paper is to describe the design and the evaluation methods used to carry out the PRONAF study. Methods/design. One-hundred nineteen overweight (46 males) and 120 obese (61 males) subjects aged 18-50 years were randomly assigned to a strength training group, an endurance training group, a combined strength + endurance training group or a diet and physical activity recommendations group. The intervention period was 22 weeks (in all cases 3 times/wk of training for 22 weeks and 2 weeks for pre and post evaluation). All subjects followed a hypocaloric diet (25-30% less energy intake than the daily energy expenditure estimated by accelerometry). 29-34% of the total energy intake came from fat, 14-20% from protein, and 50-55% from carbohydrates. The mayor outcome variables assesed were, biochemical and inflamatory markers, body composition, energy balance, physical fitness, nutritional habits, genetic profile and quality of life. 180 (75.3%) subjects finished the study, with a dropout rate of 24.7%. Dropout reasons included: personal reasons 17 (28.8%), low adherence to exercise 3 (5.1%), low adherence to diet 6 (10.2%), job change 6 (10.2%), and lost interest 27 (45.8%). Discussion. Feasibility of the study has been proven, with a low dropout rate which corresponds to the estimated sample size. Transfer of knowledge is foreseen as a spin-off, in order that overweight and obese subjects can benefit from the results. The aim is to transfer it to sports centres. Effectiveness on individual health-related parameter in order to determine the most effective training programme will be analysed in forthcoming publications. Trial registration. ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01116856. © 2012 Zapico et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. Source

Elmer S.,Institute of Psychology | Rogenmoser L.,Institute of Psychology | Kuhnis J.,Institute of Psychology | Jancke L.,Institute of Psychology | And 4 more authors.
Journal of Neuroscience | Year: 2015

Absolute pitch (AP) refers to the rare ability to identify the chroma of a tone or to produce a specific pitch without reference to keyality (e.g., G or C). Previously, AP has been proposed to rely on the distinctive functional-anatomical architecture of the left auditory-related cortex (ARC), this specific trait possibly enabling an optimized early “categorical perception”. In contrast, currently prevailing models of AP postulate that cognitive rather than perceptual processes, namely “pitch labeling” mechanisms, more likely constitute the bearing skeleton of AP. This associative memory component has previously been proposed to be dependent, among other mechanisms, on the recruitment of the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) as well as on the integrity of the left arcuate fasciculus, a fiber bundle linking the posterior supratemporal plane with the DLPFC. Here, we attempted to integrate these two apparently conflicting perspectives on AP, namely early “categorical perception” and “pitch labeling”. We used electroencephalography and evaluated resting-state intracranial functional connectivity between the left ARC and DLPFC in a sample of musicians with and without AP. Results demonstrate significantly increased left-hemispheric theta phase synchronization in AP compared with non-AP musicians. Within the AP group, this specific electrophysiological marker was predictive of absolute-hearing behavior and explained ~30% of variance. Thus, we propose that in AP subjects the tonal inputs and the corresponding mnemonic representations are tightly coupled in such a manner that the distinctive electrophysiological signature of AP can saliently be detected in only 3 min of resting-state measurements. © 2015 the authors Source

Gerber P.A.,University of Zurich | Gerber P.A.,Competence Center for Systems Physiology and Metabolic Diseases | Thalhammer C.,University of Zurich | Schmied C.,University of Zurich | And 6 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2013

The association of small, dense low-density lipoprotein (sdLDL) particles with an increased cardiovascular risk is well established. However, its predictive value with regard to glucose metabolism and arterial disease in patients with type 2 diabetes has not been thoroughly investigated. We conducted a prospective longitudinal cohort study in patients with (pre)diabetes who were seen at baseline and after two years. sdLDL particles were determined by gradient gel electrophoresis. Insulin resistance was estimated by using the homeostatic model assessment 2 (HOMA2). Intima media thickness (IMT) and flow-mediated dilation (FMD) were assessed by ultrasound measurements. Fifty-nine patients (mean age 63.0 ± 12.2 years) were enrolled and 39 were seen at follow-up. IMT increased in the whole cohort during follow-up. The change in IMT was predicted by the proportion of sdLDL particles at baseline (p=0.03), and the change in FMD was predicted by LDL-cholesterol levels at baseline (p=0.049). HOMA2 and changes in HOMA2 correlated with the proportion of sdLDL particles and changes in this proportion, respectively (p<0.05 for both). Serum resistin levels increased in parallel with the increasing sdLDL particle number, while serum adiponectin increased only in patients with unaltered sdLDL particle number at follow-up (p<0.01 for both). In conclusion, the proportion of small, dense LDL particles and changes in this proportion are predictive of changes in intima media thickness and insulin resistance, and are closely associated with other determinants of an adverse metabolic status. Thus, this parameter extends the individual risk assessment beyond the limitations of traditional risk markers in patients with dysglycemia. © 2013 Gerber et al. Source

McKay R.,University of London | Tamagni C.,University of Zurich | Palla A.,University of Zurich | Krummenacher P.,University of Zurich | And 5 more authors.
Cortex | Year: 2013

Introduction: Unrealistic optimism refers to the pervasive tendency of healthy individuals to underestimate their likelihood of future misfortune, including illness. The phenomenon shares a qualitative resemblance with anosognosia, a neurological disorder characterized by a deficient appreciation of manifest current illness or impairment. Unrealistic optimism and anosognosia have been independently associated with a region of right inferior frontal gyrus, the pars opercularis. Moreover, anosognosia is temporarily abolished by vestibular stimulation, particularly by irrigation of the left (but not right) ear with cold water, a procedure known to activate the right inferior frontal region. We therefore hypothesized that left caloric stimulation would attenuate unrealistic optimism in healthy participants. Methods: Thirty-one healthy right-handed adults underwent cold. -water caloric vestibular stimulation of both ears in succession. During each stimulation episode, and at baseline, participants estimated their own relative risk of contracting a series of illnesses in the future. Results: Compared to baseline, average risk estimates were significantly higher during left-ear stimulation, whereas they remained unchanged during right-ear stimulation. Unrealistic optimism was thus reduced selectively during cold caloric stimulation of the left ear. Conclusions: Our results point to a unitary mechanism underlying both anosognosia and unrealistic optimism, and suggest that unrealistic optimism is a form of subclinical anosognosia for prospective symptoms. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. Source

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